Before Marc ever began working for RUF (Reformed University Fellowship), we never knew a ministry like this even existed. Didn't even realize it was possible.
It's sad to me to think how many of us grow up in the church our entire lives, yet don't understand or aren't free to express our own brokenness in light of God's grace and mercy. I read a book recently called "Permission to Speak Freely," where the author invited her blog readers to answer the question, "What do you feel like you can't talk about in the church?"
Wouldn't you know, the answers came pouring in. By the droves.
How would you answer that question?
Why do we, the Church, often look more like a country club than a hospital for broken people?
Why aren't we talking honestly about our struggles, our doubts, our questions in the church?
Why is it that we'd never think to speak about what's truly dysfunctional in our lives, and enter into genuine community with others?
If we can't do that in the church, then where can we do it?
Oh, I could go on and on.
I know it's not like that everywhere, though, and there are plenty of churches and ministries proclaiming the good news: Christ came to save SINNERS!
I'm so thankful to be able to witness a ministry that wants to look more like a hospital to the broken.
Open to the public. (not just the cleaned-up ones)
And ALL of us are sick and needy here. That's precisely why we're here!
Whether we're Christians or not, we ALL need to hear the same thing, over and over:
I look out at our RUF students and see a sea of brokenness: divorce, homosexuality, perfectionism, atheism/agnosticism, drug use, rampant selfishness, alcohol abuse, pornography addiction, eating disorders, mental illness, diseases, pharisee-ism, (like that term I just made up?), and oh, so many more.
(I look within and see an ocean of brokenness as well.)
Perhaps the most dangerous form of brokenness, though, is that of thinking you're not all that broken.
It's then you have no need of a Savior.
Or of the amazing grace He offers.
RUF is a rest stop for tired Christians and a safe place for skeptics.
Don't believe it's possible? Listen to the students yourself.
I love being able to be apart of students' lives. I love watching the Lord at work, transforming them, teaching them, and growing them in grace.
(though I hate sending them off! But that's just apart of it...)
We've been doing RUF for 11 years now, (7 years at Texas Tech & just finished 4 years here in Lynchburg) and people ask Marc when he's going to become a "real" pastor. :) ha!
So it's been 11 years of raising support like foreign missionaries, and let me tell you- it's humbling! We are ALL dependent upon the Lord for our provisions, but I think you feel it a little more acutely when you have to ask for your very provision.
In those 11 years, we've never hit a deficit. Thankfully, Marc has been able to focus more on doing ministry than upon finding money for the ministry.
We've hit a deficit, and we need your help.
Why the deficit? We've had alot of people give year end/ one-time gifts (which is great!), but we are really in desperate need for more monthly supporters.
Many of you who read this blog have helped us before in the past, or you are current RUF supporters, and we are SO grateful for you all! Without you, we wouldn't hear testimonies like those in the video. You all amaze us with your generosity, your faithfulness, & your commitment to seeing the Kingdom spread.
What's always so ironic to us is that it's not necessarily the wealthy folks that keep us afloat-
it's the faithful ones.
(to whom we say thank you!)
Anyways, at this point in deficit, Marc and I are not feeling discouraged.
We know the Lord has called us here, and we believe He will provide for us to stay here.
(I type that so confidently, but obviously there are fears there...)
But right now I am feeling motivated.
Motivated to tell everyone about RUF's impact.
Motivated to ask you to pray for us.
Motivated to ask you all to team up with us financially.
For the first time.
Or perhaps increase your current giving.
It's easy to do & tax-deductible.
You could set it up on monthly bill-pay, automatic bank draft, or check the box to charge your credit card each month.
(a typical gift is approximately $50 a month, but you could do any amount, big or small!)
Here's the link: www.ruf.org/donate
(designate your gift to Lynchburg RUF)
Thank you, dear friends.
Keep praying for us.
And let's all begin to proclaim the Gospel:
though we are far worse than we ever imagined,
we are FAR more loved than we ever dreamed.